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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 07.15.22

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder What is our Title IX? Sometimes as you go out looking things come looking for you.

Over the past few weeks since the Roe decision, I’ve kept looking into the history of Title IX and how the 37 words of that legislation have withstood the test of time. Coincidence or not Title IX celebrated its 50th anniversary right at the time of the Roe decision in June. Sometimes as you go out looking things come looking for you. In this case, I was up at my usual 6 am and there was a show on ESPN called 50/50 which was showing the new 4-part series 37 Words commemorating the 50th anniversary of Title IX. When I was on a Zoom with Jennifer Ghidu yesterday, doing a refresh on some of the New forms, New measures work, I told her that we/BPL still have not found our Title IX issue where a small group that does not know where it is headed, is at the right time, in the right place and works their butts off to have an impact that is so much larger than they ever thought would happen. What is our Title IX? It is always good to ponder right before Big Bang.

We’re international! On a call this week with Deb Chadwick from Australia, she shared the progress schools and students are making around BPLiving. One student put the Six Measures into an Australian context below.

In less than two weeks lots of students and staff will be presenting how to get involved in BPLiving, the IBPLC and B-U. This is part of the parcel of the New Forms New Measures work. Once again, our LEGO master builder friends were extremely helpful in coming up with ways to work with all the participants at Big Bang during our PMU’s as well as in planning some great activities for the Leadership Conference in December.

Another great week with the 311 Credential. Much thanks to Joe Youcha, The Carpenter’s Union is embracing the 311. As we have known for a very long time if, you get youth out of school and give them real responsibilities connected to adults around their interests and treat them like adults they won’t let you down. Right now, they are reminding the Carpenters Union about that power and I’m sitting on the side loving it. Newark Public Schools and the Mayor’s Workforce people have all been great. Our hope is to take 311 nationally. It dovetails perfectly with HFF and thus far, the partners have been footing the bills and loving it. So many programs keep adding tasks and goals. The 311 subtracts and gets back to what is actually needed to do quality work. More to come.

B-U is a hive of activity. Our talk with the Sweetwater District this morning was full-speed ahead into the school year. Next week, we talk Nate Adams who leads My Brother’s Keeper in New Rochelle and tonight Anthonette, Maddie and I go out for a sail in Coronado so Co-Navigator Maddie can finish up on one of her sailing certifications. “The ‘numbing’ of America is the state in which we become so far removed from the processes by which our artifacts are made that we don’t understand either them or ourselves.” Ralph Caplan I’m always curious about how old ways of doing things turn out to be better than new ways. This retrospective is part and parcel a look into the future of work, a future of capitalism based on fixing rather than consuming and throwing away. As my new found very senior friend at Apple so eloquently stated a few weeks ago, “They take away everything that is easy and make it hard” and that’s a big problem. So many of us have been disconnected from land, air, water and fabricating to the point where we don’t know our artifacts or ourselves.

The large database of craftsmen in Craftsmanship Quarterly is a way to connect youth to mentors who are masters. Here’s an example of how old ways of irrigating called Acequia irrigation are coming into vogue and these ways of knowing are NOT a textbook approach but done with a sense and feel. “As romantic as this sounds, it is supported by the findings of Sylvia Rodriguez, a scholar at the School for Advanced Research, a think-tank based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Acequia irrigation, she says, is “kinesthetic, visual, technical, and interactive, but not especially verbal.” “José says the parciantes’ job is to make sure the water curves and cradles itself within the natural embrace and gravity of the land. To do this, Acequia managers actually re-form * the surrounding landscape.” Hence another way to use the word re-form that makes sense to me. “José Avila believes that both soil and water reciprocate what you put into them: “I say to my wife, ‘look how water loves you back.’ If you love the soil, the soil will love you back and support you.”

Don’t’ Toss Those Old Sneakers And one more example of work that is around fixing and fabricating and not based on throwaway consumption. Golden Goose, a company in Milan is refurbishing old sneakers and making it cool and profitable. They say, “Someone who feels taken care of will always return.” This is good way for us to think about how we work with youth and adults. Big Bang is next week. It is a time when we set the tone for the year as well as the vision. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and as my buddy Brad Miller says, "It's not what your hear that matters. It's how you listen.” Be well!

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